Kami Chavis Simmons, Omari Simmons and Steve Virgil promoted to full professorships

The law school congratulates Kami Chavis Simmons, Omari Simmons and Steve Virgil on their promotions to full professor with tenure as of July 1, 2012.

Professor Kami Chavis Simmons, who joined the Wake Forest University School of Law faculty in 2006, brings substantial experience to teaching and writing about criminal law. After receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School, she worked as an associate at private law firms in Washington, D.C., where she participated in various aspects of civil litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and internal investigations. In 2003, she became an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, involving her in a wide range of criminal prosecutions and in arguing and briefing appeals before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Professor Simmons frequently makes presentations on law-enforcement issues and is a  leader in the field of police accountability. Her articles have appeared in the University of Alabama Law Review, the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and the Catholic University Law Review, and other legal journals.  Her research focuses on using Cooperative Federalism principals and stakeholder participation to implement sustainable reforms in the criminal justice system.  Her article, “Subverting Symbolism: The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and Cooperative Federalism” will appear in the American Criminal Law Review in 2012.

Professor Omari Simmons’ research interests include corporate governance and education policy. Prior to joining the Wake Forest Law School faculty, Professor Simmons worked as corporate counsel for two multinational corporations and as an associate at the law firm of Wilmer Hale in Washington, D.C. Immediately after law school, he clerked for the Honorable E. Norman Veasey, Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. Professor Simmons is a member of the American Law Institute and is the Executive Director of the Simmons Memorial Foundation (SMF), a nonprofit organization that provides college consulting services to vulnerable students.

Professor Steve Virgil has served as founding Director of the Law School’s Community Law Clinic and Associate Clinical Professor since 2008. He has practiced law for nearly 20 years with an emphasis on community economic development and the nonprofit sector. His clients include nonprofit organizations of all sizes and scope, from neighborhood associations to major private foundations and he maintains an active pro bono public interest litigation practice. He teaches courses on community economic development, poverty and the nonprofit sector. Virgil also serves as the founding Director of the Institute for Public Engagement at Wake Forest University; a university-wide institute that promotes community based participatory research and engaged teaching across Wake Forest University. Prior to joining Wake Forest, Virgil taught at another law school for several years and practiced law in Cleveland, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska. He clerked for the Honorable George W. White, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, is a former legal aid lawyer, an Equal Justice Fellow and a recipient of the Joseph Branch teaching award.